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Easter experience priceless - Brown


Harlequins veteran Nick Easter, centre, has received his first England call-up since 2011

Harlequins veteran Nick Easter, centre, has received his first England call-up since 2011

Harlequins veteran Nick Easter, centre, has received his first England call-up since 2011

Nick Easter's character and experience will be "priceless" to England, according to his Harlequins team-mate and Red Rose full-back Mike Brown.

Easter, who has 47 caps to his name, has been included in England's 34-man RBS 6 Nations training squad - his first international call-up since the 2011 World Cup.

The 36-year-old will take his place alongside fellow number eight Billy Vunipola, who is 14 years Easter's junior, as England prepare to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium on February 6.

"He's been to a World Cup final and he's achieved so much in his career for Harlequins as well - to have that experience in and around the squad will be priceless for us going into a massive year," said Brown, who was speaking at the launch of BT's three year partnership with GB Wheelchair Rugby.

"I've known Nick for a long time and he's been working incredibly hard to get back in the England team.

"He's always been desperate to represent his country again even though he's about 50 years old.

"He's a great character on and off the field and has that massive experience that England can really use.

"Guys like Billy Vunipola can learn so much off a player like him and what he's achieved in his career. For Billy to have that sort of character next to him will be great."

Easter has been in excellent form for Harlequins this season and fills the gap left by Gloucester number eight Ben Morgan, who will be out for between four to six months with a broken leg.

"He's been in brilliant form for Harlequins, not just this season but for a number of years," Brown said.

"For an old man his durability is second to none.

"Especially this year, when the team has been inconsistent, Nick has really stood out week in, week out.

"Stuart (Lancaster) has always said that if you play well for your club and earn your place, he'll give you a chance, just like he did with me and many others.

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"It's great to have a coach who watches all the games and rewards people who are playing well."

Another player handed the chance to reinvigorate his England Test career is Sale fly-half Danny Cipriani, who has also been recalled by Lancaster.

After five years out of the international fold, Cipriani played in two of England's three Tests in New Zealand last summer, but the 27-year-old was then left out for the autumn series.

"He's obviously a world-class player," Brown said.

"He's got caps for England and when he got the opportunity on the New Zealand tour, he showed glimpses of what he can do.

"He's been showing that for Sale for the last couple of years now and he's been desperate to get back in the England fold so all credit to him."

England's Six Nations opener against Wales will also serve as a rehearsal for the Rugby World Cup in September, when the two teams meet again in Pool A.

"There may be some psychological edge to be taken but we're trying not to look too far ahead," said Brown, who was named last year's Six Nations Player of the Championship.

"It's going to be a massive occasion in 10 days' time, we came up short a couple of years ago at the Millennium Stadium and we're desperate to kick off our Six Nations with a win."

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